Life

Remembering David Bowie

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(photo credit: Ingrid Richter)

Saying Goodbye To David Bowie. I’ll admit it, my first exposure to David Bowie was from the film “Labyrinth,” well before I was introduced to the utter glory that is his musical career. He was just (add your own annoying Valley Girl accent here) “that super cute guy with the totally rad wig!”

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(photo credit: Mark Waltheu)

It’s embarrassing now to think I didn’t know how utterly groundbreaking David was in nearly every sense–music, fashion, film, and how we viewed androgyny and civil rights. This was the man who openly challenged MTV at the height of the network’s power over why they weren’t playing black artists.

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(photo credit: David Shankbone)

Even with all the decadence of the rock and roll lifestyle and what most consider Bowie’s “daring” fashion choices, he was a surprisingly centered man in his home life. He married Iman – the first African American supermodel – 23 years ago and they raised two rather nice children. He kept his cancer diagnosis to himself, and stubbornly moved ahead with his final album Blackstar, ironically released only 2 days ago, on his 69th birthday. David passed away quietly Sunday night, surrounded by Iman and his children. You can read some of the truly emotional farewells from fellow musicians here.

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But here’s the part that made me weep today. Private as he was, Bowie left us all a goodbye in the video for his first single from Blackstar, titled “Lazarus.” An exhausted Bowie lays on his death bed with buttons placed over his eyes (like coins placed over the eyes of the passing in the ancient tradition. His frantic movements throughout the video show a man trying to race through the last things he needs desperately before he’s gone. I can’t watch it though without sobbing. You can watch it below, I suggest a box of tissues.

Lazarus – Blackstar from David Bowie, 2016

Lyrics

Look up here, I’m in heaven

I’ve got scars that can’t be seen

I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen

Everybody knows me now

 

Look up here, man, I’m in danger

I’ve got nothing left to lose

I’m so high it makes my brain whirl

Dropped my cell phone down below

 

Ain’t that just like me

 

By the time I got to New York

I was living like a king

Then I used up all my money

I was looking for your ass

 

This way or no way

You know, I’ll be free

Just like that bluebird

Now ain’t that just like me

 

Oh I’ll be free

Just like that bluebird

Oh I’ll be free

Ain’t that just like me


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